Saturday, August 18, 2007

A Sense of Place...Continued

Over dinner the other night, Antonio and I had a discussion regarding this concept of "A Sense of Place" (see my post from August 14, 2007.) I realized that there are so many places that I am drawn to, and so many places in which I could easily live, like Spain, Big Sur, Taos, Provence, Mendocino, etc. However, there is a subtle difference between a place in which I could live and a place that feels like home. It is more than a place that feels comfortable and more than a place that makes you happy. For me it is a place that is familiar. Do you know that feeling of stumbling on a place that you feel like you already know (this can happen with people, too)? Oddly enough, for me one of those places is Tibet, as I mentioned in my last email, which feels so familiar and like home. However, I could not live in Tibet for an extended period of time. I suppose that is how my sister feels about the arctic (again, see the last post about this.) My other "home" spots - Santa Cruz and Italy - are definitely livable for me. When I am in those places you practically have to drag me away kicking and screaming. So, is this sense of place that feels like home, as my sister said, "like slipping into your own skin"? Is it how you feel more yourself when you are in that place or does the place make you into someone you like more?

As Rebecca and African Vanielje commented in that other post, some feel that "home is where the heart is." During my conversation about this with my husband, we both said that we don't feel that way. My love lives with me in Southern California, but this place does not feel like home to either of us. Sognatrice alluded to this as well when she wrote that she left familial love to live in the place that felt like home, even though it was very far away. So, that theory is not universal.

I am left with more questions than answers and welcome all comments regarding this topic.


sognatrice said...

I love this subject as it truly is so very subjective ;)

I think I like to straddle the fence, actually; I *do* think home is where the heart is...only my heart happens to be spread in at least two places. Like you said, there are some places where you just feel like you belong, that it's right, that you "go."

Back in the States, where I grew up, is absolutely one of my homes, but I'm not sure I could live there anymore full-time--doesn't make the chunk of my heart left there any smaller though.

Could I live outside of Italy, outside of my village right now? Happily, I really don't think so. It feels right to be here now, although I can't explain it more than that.

If my OH wanted to live somewhere else? Hmm...I suppose since a big part of my heart is with him no matter where he is, perhaps his choice of "home" would end up feeling like mine...or perhaps I'd be so lucky as to feel "home" in the same place he does at any given time. Wouldn't that be lucky?

It's a difficult discussion, and like you said, I don't think the answer is the same for anyone. I just hope that everyone gets to feel that exhale someday, when you truly feel like you're home. It's wonderful :)

The Passionate Palate said...

Sognatrice - I think you hit the nail on the head. This subject is subjective. Some people's sense of home comes from where there family is, some comes from where their love is, some comes (like for me) from a sense of place that is very personal. As you said, I hope we can feel that "exhale" someday!

Elisa said...

Dear Jeni, I answered to your question in my blog.
As far the concept that "home is where the heart is" I agree with you because I could't live in a place that I don't like, but that sentence has always meant the opposite to me: "home is where the heart is" because sometimes the place that you love most is not the one where you were born or where the family that you love live but the place that you would choose accordingly to your ideas and tastes.

I don't know if it is clear, my English is not so good anymore ;)


The Passionate Palate said...

Ciao Elisa, your English is fine, and I do understand what you mean. Home is where the heart is could mean the opposite too, as in the place that feels like home is where you will find your heart or your self. I like that!